Marion commented on the last post and asked for the recipe for the cake. The original was from the BBC Food website, but here it is with my amendments:
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (I hate cinnamon so I don't add any but pile in more mixed spice instead)
- 200g/7oz butter
- 200g/7oz dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp black treacle (if you're not mad on the bitter taste of treacle put in a bit less, but more marmalade)
- 1 tbsp marmalade (the more old-fashioned marmalade with loads of zest in seems to be stickier and better for this. I put at least double the amount in)
- ¼ tsp vanilla essence
- 4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 800g/1¾lb mixed dried fruits
- 100g/3½oz chopped mixed peel
- 150g/5oz glacé cherries, halved
- 100g/3½oz blanched almonds, chopped (we don't do nuts in our house so I omit these and put in extra cherries instead)
- brandyReally easy to make. I mixed mine up in the mixer rather than by hand for speed, but don't forget to get everyone to have a stir and make a wish!
- Heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Grease a 20cm/8inch round or an 18cm/7inch square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment.
- Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.
- Cream the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl and then mix in the sugar, treacle, marmalade and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
- Mix the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.
- Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, glace cherries and the almonds.
- Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.
- Bake in the oven for 3 hours and then test with a skewer. If not ready bake for up to another hour testing every 20 minutes until the skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
- Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Once cool, make a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over 3-4 tbspof brandy. Let the brandy soak into the cake.
- Store the cake wrapped in foil and in an airtight tin or plastic container, holes side up.
- OPTIONAL: For a rich and moist cake, spoon over a few tablespoons of brandy every week until you are ready to ice and decorate your cake.